Two Individuals Charged With Non-Fungible Token “Rug Pull” And Laundering Proceeds Through The Solana And Ethereum Blockchains
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger has sentenced Christopher Keith Held (37, Orlando) to six years and nine months in federal prison for conspiring to commit access device (credit card) fraud, producing counterfeit access devices, possessing 15 or more counterfeit access devices, possessing device-making equipment, and committing aggravated identity theft. Held had pleaded guilty on May 13, 2020. Held’s co-defendant, Bonnie Brooke Vogt (25, Orlando), pleaded guilty to several fraud-related charges on June 23, 2020. Her sentencing is scheduled for September 18, 2020.
According to court documents, sometime prior to 2018, Held and Vogt conspired to steal the identities of approximately 2,900 individuals from the Orlando chapter of a labor union where Vogt had been employed. Between 2018 and 2019, Held and Vogt used many of these stolen identities to obtain loans, lines of credit, and credit cards in victims’ names. Held and Vogt then used the fraudulently-obtained funds and stolen identities to purchase four vehicles and to pay other personal expenses, including staying at various hotels in central Florida and renting a new Mercedes. In January 2019, when officers from the Orlando Police Department searched the Mercedes, they found more than 100 counterfeit driver licenses displaying Held or Vogt’s photos, but with the personal information of the identity theft victims, as well as numerous debit and credit cards that had been opened in victims’ names. Officers also located two card printers and a card encoder in the vehicle. Held and Vogt were later found in possession of additional stolen and counterfeit access devices, in September 2019 and October 2019.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Orlando Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chauncey A. Bratt.